Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ficus On There Way Out

The Ficus tree on the right is almost leafless and the Ficus on the left has the whitefly on the leaves (see Thursdays leaf). The larger tree is one of the cities signature trees. We can see the tree from our back yard a block away. I remember the tree when I was a youngster. I will miss my friend, my climing tree.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Second Floor Porch On The Left

Before air conditioning a porch like this was for sleeping on warm summer nights. The screen is gone and the glass keeps the heat out while the air conditioner keeps the room cold. I'm not sure that's progress.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Leaf Tells It All

The little circles are the lobate lac scale that weaken the tree. The little white spot is the ficus whitefly that kills the tree.

Here is a closeup of the tree killer. Most people around here have no idea of the lose that we are about to see. Some of our best trees will be lost.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We Will Lose Most Of Our Ficus Trees

This large tree will soon be dead. It has two problems, lobate lac scale and ficus whitefly. For the last 4 years some of the ficus were attacked by the scale. And each winter the tree would turn black with soot. The summer rains washed off the soot. The black film slowed up the photosynthesis but it didn't kill the tree. But this new whitefly will kill the tree.

The Philodendron selloum under the tree will survive.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Art Deco In Coral Gables

In the 30's Miami Beach was building mainly art deco buildings. They grew old and a bit sad. But in the 80's they came back and they are now the jewels of Miami Beach. But this one in Coral Gables looks out of place.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Only If You Get Up In The Morning

We seldom have fog in our area. To see it at its best you have to get up early.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Young Kapok Tree

There are two Kapok trees at the Granada entrance to Coral Gables. They are a pretty good size now, but they will get very large and are not for the back yard garden.

One is orange with wider petals.

And this one is a deeper red.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This Clerodendrum Is In Full Bloom With Pups

The blooming plant to the right is the mother plant that sent roots under the sidewalk and those roots produced more plants. Most of the Clerodendrum family have this problem of sending up pups all around the garden. I have never seen a Clerodendrum damage a sidewalk.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Clerodendrum Is In Full Bloom

The pups have disappeared. You do remember the pups?
It's a beautiful plant but it is an aggressive grower, and not for everyone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A House From The Late 30's

Windows all over, even in the doors. Those are not regular windows, those are the new windows that will stand up to a hurricane. The owners will not need to shutter up there house when a hurricane comes by our way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Orchids In The Front Yard

A neighbor grows his orchids on trees, just like the jungle. Notice the roots growing over the trunk. Those orchids have been there for a long time. And it didn't have a problem when the temperature went down to 38f.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

C & A House 12

The architect Walter De Garmo designed this beautiful frieze for a C & A house. This low relief and the rest of the wall was painted a single color in the 40's and I never saw it. Then a new owner renovated the house and cleaned the frieze. Now there is a gem for all of us to enjoy. Click to see the beauty of the frieze.

Monday, February 16, 2009

And A Room For The Piano

The right half of the house was added a few years ago. If you could look into the window you would see a very big piano. The owners can play or practice on the piano without bothering the rest of the house. I remember years ago when we had a pianist living in the house and we all had to listen to the music no matter were we ware in the house.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Ficus, But It's A Vine

The vine clinging to the wall is a Ficus. Most Ficus are normally large trees. Many of our Ficus trees are dieing due to the new white fly. So far I haven't seen any problem for this vine.
In the last 24 hours I have received 5 spam comments. I moderate the comments and reject all spam. The spammer was trying to put there add on some of my older postings.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Built In The 30's

This is the back of the house. You can tell, because the pool is on this side and the city wants all swimming pools to be out of site, when possible. The property is on a triangular piece of land. When I was a teenager I thought that a building that large must be an apartment building. In the 90's the house was a bit neglected. A few years ago it was brought back to life. Now it looks better then when it was new.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Addition On An Old Spanish House

The left side of this house is all new. The second floor windows may have been built last year but they sure look like they are at least 80 years old.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

C. skinneri 'Hettie Jacobs' FCC/AOS

This flower opened seven days ago when the temperature was down to 38f. While many local growers brought there plants in to warmer locations, this plant stayed out in the garden. It seems to be doing fairly well.
This plant is more attractive then the ones found in the jungle. Growers took the best of the wild plants and crossed them and then the best of those plants were crossed again. Thus each generation produces slightly improved flowers. Now we have an orchid that looks like it's on steroids. Now days most people buy the improved species and shun the wild plants. Hopefully the wild plant will not be lost in jungle.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Nice Balcony

Built with windows and doors that can be left open. It was built before air conditioning. Back then we never thought that we were uncomfortable on a hot summer night. Now we demand cool summers and warm winters in our bedrooms.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Color, Color, Color

The house reminds me of my college colors, blue and gold.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jaboticaba/Myrciaria Cauliflora

Our Jaboticaba is ripening a nice crop of fruit. Next week the fruit will be made into jelly. This Brazilian native seems to be very happy in my garden. The fruit forms on the branches and down the trunk.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

It Was Cold This Past Week

We had three nights that were cold and this gardener didn't want to lose their vegetables. One night was 38F and the other two were in the 40's. Most of the plants were tomatoes. This is not the best view of the house. There was nothing in that yard that needed to be covered. I almost stopped to tell them not to worry. But I just took the picture and went my way.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Behind The Green Door

This is what Coral Gables looked like 100 years ago. And this pineywood area is 100 feet from our house. It's in the middle of the city.
The little white spot in the upper left is our house. There is a busy street between the house and the woods. I'm positive that the majority of the people driving by this spot have no idea of the beauty of this little park.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Another Path

This is one way to get to the piney wood path in the middle of Coral Gables.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's Cold And Dry Today

The city planted a number of trees in public areas this fall just at the beginning of the dry season. This water truck waters the newly planted trees and they have a good chance of living. The hope is that they will be strong to weather a summer hurricane. Notice the driver is using the water hose while he's driving. That means one less worker and no stops.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

C & A House 11

To paint a house, you need a permit from the city. Normally the colors are subdued, but not this one. This bright house was allowed because the house owner claimed that it was a historic color. Back in the 20's and 30's they didn't make such a color. I remember a pink house (the color of a strawberry milkshake) down the street from our house. We used it as a marker because that's were you turned to get to our house.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Well... The Fountain Is Nice.

The fountain does make the garden look grand. But the house distracts from the garden. This house is only 4 properties for our house. When I showed my wife the fountain by it self she didn't know were it was.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Eye Candy For The Winter

The last 2 weeks were cold for Coral Gables with 4 nights dipping down around 50f. This orchid will not be damaged until it goes to 32f or 30's with wind.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I Have Another Path

This grotto has rock paths that a youngster of any age would enjoy. The path is behind the Merrick house and it ends at a beautiful fishpond full of Koi.
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